Oh my! We’ve got a bit of a romantic do for you this morning…all ice-cream shades and tails and sparkly bridesmaids. Get those pinning fingers at the ready!!
Alex and James married at River Cottage, a venue they both knew and loved and had earmarked long before they were even engaged (I ruddy love that!) and it’s not hard to see why. With their gorgeous ceremony outside (complete with ribbon tying ritual), evening dancing in the barn, River Cottage catering (you just know the food will be good!) and to top it all off, a yurt with a roaring log fire, you would be hard pressed to say no.
They accessorised the venue perfectly with a delicate Catherine Deane bridal gown, the prettiest pumps, lace bunting and gypsophila and a heapful of love and laughter. Just beautiful!
The Brides Fashion
Alex The Bride: I tried on about 15 dresses before I found my dress. And I definitely had “the one” moment. So much so I was actually on my own and knew instantly this was my dress and I ordered it without anyone else’s opinion, and that is quite rare for me, normally I am very indecisive!
For me the dress by Catherine Deane was perfect and also unique which I loved. The neckline, the pearl beading, the silk covered buttons at the front to add detail and of course the flowing silk skirt. I felt so special in it, and knew instantly it was “me”.
The Grooms Fashion
We have always loved the traditional Morning Dress for weddings so decided it would be right for our wedding for the Groom and Ushers.
James and I have always been fans of River Cottage, so a few years ago I booked James and I to go for a long weekend in Dorset and attend the River Cottage Summer Party, we fell in love with the venue and imagined how gorgeous it would be on a wedding day. When we got engaged I enquired with River Cottage HQ and it ticked all the boxes for us, a ceremony outside, river cottage catering, dancing in the barn and not to mention a yurt with a roaring log fire, it was perfect for us. And all the staff at River Cottage were beyond helpful, it really was a pleasure dealing with them.
We wanted to create relaxed day for us and our guests. I have always been drawn to simple styles rather than elaborate so without knowing, my choices along the way created the style of our wedding.
The venue of course had a big influence on the style of our day, I wanted to be sympathetic to the surroundings to create a natural feel, so nothing looked out of place in the beautiful country surroundings, and the rustic barn. For example, I didn’t have a colour theme, I kept it to natural colours with white and cream and the bridesmaids in a pale blush pink dress from Coast. The decorations of the gypsophila flowers, the hessian and lace runners and bunting and wild flowers on the table with a variety of colours, made an informal atmosphere, which we wanted.
I hired hessian and lace runners, along with hessian and lace bunting from Devon Vintage China. Also some apple crates, and large candle holders, along with a vintage bird cage with “cards” sign for the cake table created a natural country feel.
We had a very subtle pig theme running through the day ( I am a bit obsessed with pigs!) (invitations, order of service, name places, cake topper, a surprise pig poem from my sister in law, main course all featuring pigs!)
I have often been to weddings where wedding favours get left behind and forgotten after all the dancing and I think what a shame. So we thought how about favours that are consumed on the day! James had home brewed some Damson Gin so we had the idea of giving everyone a miniature. We spent many a evening decanting into mini bottles and then making “Drink Me” labels, and to add some pretty detail I cut out discs of material to cover the lids. They didn’t last long once people saw them on their table, so I think that is a good sign!
River Cottage provided the wild flower posies for the tables.
One of my favourite parts of the day was walking down the aisle with my dad, following my bridesmaids, hearing I Giorni by Ludovico Einaudi being played on the piano and seeing James and all the people I love basked in the sunlight in the River Cottage Garden for the start of the ceremony; it was truly magical. Also we chose to have our beloved dog, Max as the ring bearer. I am animal obsessed so to have my family dog to be part of the ceremony meant everything, and he delivered the ring perfectly, a true professional!
We chose to have a humanist wedding ceremony and included the following reading:
‘Chapter One of One Thousand’ by O.J.Preston
For two people this dawn brought on a magical day
Now husband and wife they head on their way
As a boat setting sail may their journey begin
With calmest of waters, most helpful of wind
And if they should stumble upon turbulent sea
May it pass them unharming – leave them be.
For here are two people whom love has well bitten
Here opens their book which has yet to be written
As the first page unfolds and their life inks its path
May it write a true story where forever love lasts
Let their journey be happy till death do they part
Of one thousand chapters may this be the start.
Music was really huge part of our day also.
We used the following music:
Aisle Processional: I Giorni by Ludovico Einaudi
Song in the ceremony: Morning has Broken by Cat Stevens
Aisle Recessional: Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
First Dance: Riptide by Vance Joy
The food was definitely one of the most important parts of the day. The food at River Cottage as you would expect was completely out of this world!
Crispy pork belly & pink loin
Chargrilled summer vegetables
Heritage tomato & green bean salad
Garden leaves with edible flowers
Raw courgette and lemon salad
Wilted seasonal greens
Blackberry frangipane tart
with vanilla ice cream
Coffee and petit fours:
Salted caramel millionaire shortbread
We chose Natalie as our photographer at first because I was drawn to her exquisite images on her website and loved how she captured the natural lighting and tender moments between bride and groom. We also wanted a photographer to capture all the little details and when looking through her portfolio Natalie cleverly tells the story of the day with her pictures, enabling you to relive it moment by moment. And once we started talking I realised she was not only one of the most lovely of people, I was also in extremely experienced and capable hands. We also learnt we both had a love / obsession for beach huts in common so by then it was a done deal!